The Soothing Presence of Strangers is an audio meditation on loneliness, usefulness, and the place a bus route can have in our lives.
Rhiannon Armstrong has had a soft spot for local buses since she was a child crossing the city on her way home from school, and Robert – the driver of the number 66 – decided to befriend her.
This year she spent two weeks hanging out on local buses in Walthamstow (where she lived and worked for six years). The resulting work is an audio tour incorporating field recordings, music and narrative.
How to take part
The Soothing Presence of Strangers is an audio experience designed for people to listen to whilst riding a bus. You can stream the piece on your device by clicking play below.
The piece is 40 minutes long and you are free to choose any bus route: we recommend starting at Walthamstow Bus Station. A guide will talk you through your options and you will be able to pause half way through to get off of the bus and return the way you came.
The Soothing Presence of Strangers is part of Waltham Forest Tours, a travel agency with a difference. Visit the Waltham Forest Tours section for more events.
Stream The Soothing Presence of Strangers below (recommended):
Rhiannon Armstrong is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist with over a decade of experience making works with empathy, interaction and dialogue at their core, often with unfiltered audiences in mind. She makes work under the lifelong series title Instructions for Empathetic Living: this can be live performance work in private or in public settings, web-based and audio pieces, and immersive environments of textile, sound and projection.
Rhiannon is winner of The Adrian Howells Award for Intimate Performance in 2019.